Rick Bayless

Chris Cosentino wins Top Chef Masters

From Inside Scoop San Francisco:

Earlier this month, San Francisco’s own Chris Cosentino (Incanto, Boccalone) was declared “the best chef in history,” and if you were anywhere near the Twitter machine last night  (or you know,  a television), then you know that he followed it up with another cooking show win. Cosentino won the fourth season of Top Chef Masters, following in the footsteps of prior winners Rick Bayless, Marcus Samuellson and Floyd Cardoz.

Upon topping fellow finalist Kerry Heffernan, Cosentino uttered an instant classic of a slogan: “Guts prevail.” He explained that the way he won the show — using his signature offal cuts, on a national stage — was validation that America can and should be cooking with offal more often.

Cosentino’s win was also a victory for his charity of choice, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. He’s discussed his connection to Parkinson’s in the past, and now he’s contributed over $140,000 to the cause.

Here’s the winning moment:



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Cinco de Mayo Recipes From Chef Rick Bayless

Mexico and the US share a coastline along the Gulf of Mexico which has resulted in several cross over recipes.  The jambalaya so popular in Cajun Country is actually a Louisiana spin on the classic Spanish dish paella.  West Indies Salad popular in and around the Mobile area is a variation on ceviche.  There is even an entire cuisine that sprang up along the border between Texas and Mexico called Tex-Mex.

Rick Bayless is perhaps the best Mexican cuisine chef in the United States which isn’t bad for an Irish kid from Oklahoma.  Ah, America.  Mexican food is Third Coast Cuisine and Rick Bayless knows Mexican food.

Rick, and his wife Deann, dedicated more than 6 years to culinary research in Mexico, culminating in 1987 with the publication of their now-classic cookbook Authentic Mexican (Morrow). They also opened the colorful, vivacious Frontera Grill in Chicago, specializing in regional Mexican cooking, that same year to instant success.  I was in Chicago just last week and I made a point to try Frontera first hand and I can assure you Bayless does not disappoint.

To help celebrate the Battle of Puebla Rick has offered up a few recipes perfect for the party:

Frisee Salad with Pumpkinseeds and Queso Fresco

  • 1 head frisee lettuce or curly endive, bottom trimmed, torn into 2 inch pieces (about 8 cups)
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkinseeds (pepitas)
  • 5 small radishes (about 4 ounces), trimmed, sliced in half lengthwise and then cut into very thin half moons
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled Mexican queso fresco or salted farmers cheese
Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • About ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • A small pinch of sugar
  1. Rinse the frisee and spin dry in a salad spinner or pat dry with clean towels.
  2. In a large salad bowl, combine the frisee, pumpkinseeds, radish slices and crumbled cheese.
  3. To make the dressing, simply whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
  4. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss well.

Green Chile Shrimp Enchiladas

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 poblano, seeded and diced
  • 1 pound shrimp, raw, peeled and deveined, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded Chihuahua or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 2 pouches (8 ounces each) Frontera Green Enchilada Sauce
  1. Heat oven to 400º. For filling, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and poblano. Sauté until tender and golden, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add shrimp and salt. Cook, stirring often, until shrimp are just barely cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp mixture to a large plate. Cool completely in the refrigerator.  Once cooled, stir in 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheese.
  3. Wrap 4 tortillas in plastic wrap. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining 4 tortillas.
  4. Working quickly so the tortillas stay hot and pliable, unwrap one stack of tortillas and roll a 1/8th portion of filling into each tortilla. Place seam-side down in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Repeat to use all tortillas and filling. Open sauce pouches at one corner and pour over tortillas so they are completely covered with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
  5. Bake until the enchiladas are hot through and the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.

For more of Chef Rick Bayless’ Cinco de Mayo recipes visit his web site HERE.

Super Chefs’ Super Bowl Recipes

Well, it’s almost here.  The most American of holidays – the Super Bowl.  That’s right I said holiday.  It’s a hell of lot more sacred than braving a blizzard to see whether or not some glorified rat saw his shadow plus it is the second most food-centric day of the year behind Thanksgiving Day.  These days the competition isn’t just on the field as friends gather to out do one another with delicious party recipes.  Well, what better way to impress that obnoxious brother-in-law than by strutting in with a few 5 star caliber dishes from this culinary all-star team.

Rick Bayless' Giant Milanesa Torta with crispy chicken tendersRick Bayless’ restraurants Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, Frontera Fresco and XOCO have made him one of Chicago’s most respected chefs.  His cooking show Mexico: One Plate at a Time was the 2011 Tasty Award winner for best single subject cooking show.  The winner of the first Top Chef: Masters winner suggests you take that six foot sub concept to another level with his Giant Milanesa Torta with Crispy Chicken Tenders.  A torta is the popular sandwich that dominates the Mexico City street vendor scene.  Click HERE to get the recipe.

Michael Symon's Duck Confit Sliders, Banh-Mi StyleIron Chef Michael Symon is no stranger to competition.  He had to defeat noted chefs like Aarón Sanchez, Chris Cosentino and John Besh to win the first Next Iron Chef contest and has since competed in over 20 ICA battles winning more than 80% of the time, the best of any Iron Chef.  So leave it to Iron Mike to shake things up a bit with this exotic take on the bite-sized burger with his Duck Confit Sliders, Banh-Mi Style.  These tasty little sandwiches provide just enough sweet and an ample dose of heat.  Click HERE to get the recipe.  Be sure to check out my exclusive interview with Symon HERE.

Nathan Lyon's Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup with Fresh GingerIt never fails.  Even though it is understood that Super Bowl Sunday is a no-veggie-zone someone always fails to get the memo.  And for some reason they are never satisfied with nibbling the carrot and celery sticks you serve with the hot wings.  Thankfully Chef Nathan Lyon is here to save the day.  Chef Nathan is a champion of the healthy, farm-to-fork movement on his shows  Lyon in the Kitchen and Growing a Greener World.  Take for instance Nathan’s Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup with Fresh Ginger, it’s perfect for intrusive herbivores.  Click HERE to get the recipe.

queso fundido with roasted poblano vinaigrette from Food NetworkEvery Super Bowl party needs some kind of dip and Food Network’s resident Southwestern guru, Bobby Flay comes through with just the ticket.  Flay’s Queso Fundido with Roasted Poblano Vinaigrette takes cheese dip to a whole new plateau.  The Iron Chef even provides some how-to on making your own tortilla chips which is surprisingly easy to do.  Flay has become one of America’s favorite chefs thanks to his plethora of TV appearances and empire of restaurants.  You can always count on his recipes to pack all the punch you need to get your grub on.  Click HERE to get the recipe.  Be sure to check out my exclusive interview with Flay HERE.

Stuart Reb Donald's Honey-Chipotle and Bangkok wingsI guess I would be remiss if I didn’t include some sort of hot wing recipe.  I am fond of baking my wings so as to keep them healthy.  Hot wing sauce is the only time you will ever see me use margarine instead of butter and that’s because margarine makes for a smoother sauce.  Butter-based sauces can break when heated so since I am not using real butter I will use one of the heart healthy liquid margarines on the market or even a healthy fat like canola or coconut oil.  That’s what I did with these smokey-sweet Honey-Chipotle wings and these sizzling Bangkok wings.  Click HERE to get the recipe.

best single subject cooking showbest single subject cooking show

BH Chef Sasha’s Tahitian Vanilla Cake

Tahitian Vanilla CakeSo the Private Chefs of Beverly Hills is blowing up.  People are eating it up (pun intended).  Gal-pal Sasha Perl-Raver is the leading search item in conjunction with the show and in episode three she unveiled a cake that is all the buzz.  Sasha recently published the recipe for her much talked about Tahitian Vanilla Cake.

After having suffered hundreds of hours of boring Food Network Cake Challenges I have finally seen a cake that I would actually like to try.  Why does this cake sound better to me than those lame Disney cakes or even the masterpieces churned out by the talented gang at Charmed City Cakes?  No F’ing fondant!  Sure it makes the cake prettier but fondant is devoid of flavor and has an uncomfortable texture.  It’s like eating glue and the last time I checked we are not supposed to eat glue.  Anyway, here is Sasha’s recipe for Tahitian Vanilla Cake.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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